THE NABATAEAN
YUSUF ZEIDAN (Egypt) The first life. Wedding Month One hot day, Arabs came from far away and asked me to marry one of them. It was spring, but the air was filled with yellow dust, driven by the wind from the near and barren desert. I was alone in the house. My mother and my brother Veniamin left before I woke up for the house of Peter the tax collector, a house we call the palace because it is large and has two floors. No one asked for my opinion on the Arab bridegroom, but I agreed to be his bride without the slightest hesitation. I turned eighteen a few months ago, and I was already looking forward to getting married. My happiness lingered somewhere, and my heart ached more and more with each new day. My chest ached, and with each new spring, when the winter rains gave way to the summer heat, I was unbearably sad. The days passed slowly. I don't have much happiness in my life, even though I'm white-skinned, like the core of a grain of wheat, and beautiful. A little thin, but beautiful. The women in the village used to say that if I got married, I would definitely put on weight and become even more beautiful. My eyes are clear and large, the color of honey that bees collect during clover blooms. There are thick lashes around her eyes, the color of winter nights. My eyebrows are wide and arched, and my hair is soft and long. And they are woven in thick braids, although I do not like them. Loose hair looks more beautiful. My friend Domiana said that when I let down my braids and dye my eyelashes with antimony, I become as charming as the women of the White City (the city of godless people). Domiana knew everything, both what was said and what was not said before the wedding. She got married three years ago, when we were both fifteen. After she left, I became quite sad. My friend left me and the village to live with a thin guy, now her husband, in the distant city of Baramun. I miss my friend terribly, and I can't go to her place. Domiana never came to visit her mothe ... Read more
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Hanoi, Vietnam
24.11.2023 (90 days ago)
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